Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

I had absolutely no intentions, of writing another blog post for a while; especially not today. It was one of those days, you know the ones, probably better not writing about. 🙂

The events of the morning, are really not important, and yet, they were to me, especially at around 12.30pm. The house was a mess (I had killed three cockroaches and was still counting), the floors needed mopped, the dishes needed done and an order of groceries, that had come in on our supply flight, were sitting all over the floor. It was hot and humid, and I was tired. (Maybe even a little grumpy.)  The kids have colds, and after our whirlwind trip to town, to help a friend in the hospital this week, they were (naturally), a little out of sorts. And I was too. We were all just trying to make it from breakfast, to nap time. One of those survival days.

I was so thankful, when they both slept for two hours in the afternoon (at the same time), and I was able to get some things done. The floors got mopped, the cockroaches got killed, the counters were cleaned (bleached), the fruit got cut up (thank you Danny), and finally the house was looking, at least back to normal, and seemingly critter free. Knowing I had little time left before they woke up, I made a coffee, to re-charge, and write out my still-to-do-list.  One of my continual challenges in this missionary life of ours, is balance. I am constantly trying to figure out, how to balance family and ministry, and feeling like I fail at it, most of the time.

As I was sipping my coffee (and possibly sighing), I looked up to see my “hope” banner that my friend Melissa had made for me. However, today I noticed, that the wind had blown it up, and it was tangled in the railings around our storage space. It said “Ope” and I thought; typical. I went on drinking my coffee and tried to ignore it, but it was bothering me. So, I climbed the ladder, to fix it. Somewhere, half way up the ladder, the irony of the moment wasn’t lost on me. “I am climbing up, out of the mess, to reach for hope.” I stood on the ladder for a while (hope now swinging high again on the wall), and from this position, things looked a little different. The floors and counters looked shiny, for one, and I could see a great view of the rice fields, out through the window.

Some days, we would like to have H .O. P. E. spelled out plainly across the wall for us, but we don’t. Instead, we see the real-life daily grind, we feel the burden of decisions, chase after unfinished tasks, and maybe wade through overwhelming circumstances. We don’t always feel hope, as we weigh the days and weeks ahead; but Hope is always there. Hope doesn’t hang in the background, waiting for a change in events, or on some good news to come our way. No, our only Hope hung on a tree, so we could be forgiven and free. As children of God, by faith in Him alone, we can remain hopeful in all things. The knowledge and experience of His presence, changes my everyday living. The Creator of this world, walks with me! Amazing.

When I climbed back down the ladder today, I climbed back into the same room of circumstances, that I had just briefly left. However, my mind was thinking on hope now, and not about all the other things that cluttered my day. Funny, how that can give the room, (or my mind) a sudden make-over. Jesus doesn’t value us more, on the days when we successfully finish our to-do-list. He treasures the moments, when we come to Him, broken and humble, so He can fill our lives; with Himself.  Stopping in the midst of life’s circumstances, and thinking on truth, the truth of God’s Word, is a powerful habit to perfect in our lives.

“Worship the Holy One, follow in obedience, lead by love and hang on to hope.” I scrawled these words down, on a piece of paper earlier today; to help myself get over a bad morning. I am realizing now, as I write this out, that the day I thought was a right-off, is maybe the only day of my week really worth ‘writing home about.” For on a day like today, I can see so clearly, that I need less of me, and so much more of Jesus. Being in this place of need, at the feet of a loving Savior, is to be full of hope; for a better tomorrow.

With love,
Philippa.

Psalm 71:14
“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.”

Jeremiah 17:7
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”

PS: Some pictures from the week…because my mum will scan the words to get to these.  🙂

On Friday night, (Valentines Night) we had an evening for the couples in the church. Singing, games, a devotion, prayer for the couples and some coffee and dessert. It was so nice to enjoy the evening together, and to give these hardworking men and women a night to enjoy together. They get so little time together as just husbands and wives. In fact, one couple who attended the evening, have been married for 32 years, and this was there first night out together on a date…ever!

Here they are on their first date! In this game they had to keep a kalamansi (small fruit the size of a grape) between their heads. The couple who kept it there the longest won…. they didn’t win. 🙂

Learning how to balance ministry and family, often looks like this photo above. Baking cakes for the couples evening was a lot more “interesting” with these two helpers. 🙂 Always trying to remind myself to enjoy the moment of living with my two littles; even when it means more dishes or spilled flour.

         Saturday evening after a busy week….we played on the beach.

      When we came home Izzy said: “Mama, the beach was not very kind to me, it made me SO tired.”

          This little man is now 20 months! Growing so fast….and obviously needing a bigger hat.

                                      Col 1:27 “….Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

8 thoughts on “Reach for Hope.

  1. Betty Draper says:

    Phillippa, loved you post and the insight on “hope”. It true how the everyday can look different when we just step up and look. Knowing God see the whole picture of all our days in an encouragement. Blessing.

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  2. Thank you Betty, and you sum it up better than me in just a few sentences!! Love to you today.

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  3. Lovely look from the loft on the depth of your day. 🙂 We all need a fresh look now and again on our lives. To get our eyes back on Him where they belong. Like me earlier today. 😀

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  4. Hi Peggy! Wish I could catch up on “life” with you again over a coffee – rather than a blog post. 🙂 However, grateful for any way to keep in touch.

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  5. Read your blog – great and the photos awesome.

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  6. Dapper Dave says:

    I enjoy reading your blog posts and seeing the pictures. Makes one think twice when we complain about a simple fly in the house, can’t imagine the roaches…..I share you posts with my family (I know Sheila also reads them as she told me about them).

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  7. Thanks Dave! So nice to meet you on here, it is a small world! Yes, the roaches are a pain but I will take them over a snake anyway! Amazing too what you can get used to out here when it becomes home. 🙂 Hope you are well and thanks for reading along. 🙂

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